Research will impact electric vehicles, aid military missions and maintain smart electricity grids

By Julie O’Connor

Batteries are one of the most critical enabling technologies for achieving clean, efficient and sustainable energy development in the transportation and power sectors. Advanced vehicle and power grid battery systems consist of networked battery modules of diverse types and characteristics. System-level performance can be interrupted or completely disabled by subsystem abnormalities.

A team of Wayne State University faculty members are developing a novel resilient battery management system (RBMS) for reliable operations of networked battery systems that goes beyond typical battery management systems.

According to Le Yi Wang, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering in Wayne State’s College of Engineering, the RBMS he and his team are developing will be capable of detecting and locating abnormalities, prevent them from propagating, and will reconfigure the battery system for sustained operation. The outcome of this critical and transformative technology will offer support in electric vehicles for extended battery life, sustain military missions under limited energy resources, and maintain smart electricity grids without interruption.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Wang’s $425,000 grant, “Networked Battery System Management and Control for Active Diagnosis, Observability and Resilient Operation,” will have significant educational, societal and economic impact.

“Our research will help advance technology and workforce development in energy storage and the many associated fields of application,” said Wang. “In addition, our team will integrate findings into battery technology curricula in the existing electrical-drive vehicle engineering programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Wayne State University. Courses and training seminars on advanced battery management systems will be developed for students, engineers and technicians to enhance workforce training in vehicle electrification, sustainable energy development and smart grids.”

The overall success of this project will help achieve cleaner, more efficient and more reliable transportation, power grids and beyond. Wang and his Wayne State co-principal investigators, Wen Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor of engineering technology, and Feng Lin, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering, will introduce a new RBMS framework for integrated control, active diagnosis, and sustained operation of networked battery systems.

The research team will collaborate with industry leaders in battery technology, electric vehicles and smart grids to develop a new theory of active network observers, real-time active diagnosis and localization of abnormal conditions, reconfiguration and adaptive battery management system strategies.

“This collaborative team is proposing methods that represent a transformative technology for managing different types of batteries and structures, including new or old batteries, for vehicle and grid applications,” said Gloria Heppner, associate vice president for research at Wayne State. “Their research will lead to distinctive and novel features that will offer faster and real-time diagnosis of abnormal conditions, and will offer system reconfigurations that will provide for resilient operation and adaptive battery management systems. Their research will not only advance technology in this area, but will aid in training our students to be future leaders in this important area.”